In The Story of an Hour, the main character, Mrs. Louise Mallard, is given terrible news as she learns her husband has died in a train accident, to which she reacts in an unexpected way; instead of being heartbroken she feels happy, free and as if she has been born again, which is contrary to what any woman should feel were they in her position. The author of the story, Kate Chopin, takes the reader from one end to another when she gives hints on the protagonist's feelings before and after her husband's death, making the clearly identifiable statement that marriage is a way of oppression for women. Though Chopin never states this directly, she implies it when describing Mrs. Mallard and her behaviour, as well as when depicting the setting. When describing Mrs. Mallard, Chopin reveals the way in which that character felt before and after her husband's death. When she portrays Mrs. Mallard as "
young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength." (paragraph 8, line 1), she is telling a lot about the protagonist before the death of her husband. The words "whose lines bespoke repression" expose the fact that Mrs. Mallard has felt oppressed by her marriage, and the "certain strength" with which the writer describes Mrs. Mallard may make reference to the power the protagonist has had in order to be able to bear her marriage. In addition, in describing Mrs. Mallard behaviour after she has learned the news about her husband, Chopin uses metaphors, such as "
she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window." (paragraph 18, lines 1-2), to illustrate the happiness Mrs. Mallard is feeling now that Mr. Mallard has passed away. Another example of Mrs. Mallard behaviour can be seen in "There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of victory" (paragraph 20, lines 1-3), where the writer evidently wants to stand out the fact that the protagonist is feeling content because she...
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